Monday, June 25, 2012

Fires of Sorrow

"The only way to find yourself is in the fires of sorrow." A word from Oswald Chambers today. It strikes me as a hot coal, which could be taken one of two ways. Either it is to be the coal that cleanses my lips, or it is to be the coal that brands it upon my heart. Either way, I'm taking notice and hopeful it may be a little of both.

Why is it that you must find yourself in the blaze of disappointment? "You cannot find or receive yourself through success, because you lose your head over pride. And you cannot receive yourself through the monotony of your daily life, because you give in to complaining."

Hmm... Let's think on that. As Oswald points out, we can't avoid sorrow, nor can we ignore it. Refusing to deal with the woes of life don't make them go away. So what does it mean to receive yourself in these moments of trouble?

Chambers says, "As a saint of God, my attitude toward sorrow and difficulty should not be to ask that they be prevented, but to ask that God protect me so that I may remain what He created me to be, in spite of all my fires of sorrow."

Ah. Here we begin to see. "Receiving yourself" is realizing that no matter what we face or go through, we are to remain who He created us to be. This does not mean remain unchanged. On the contrary, He takes us through the fires of sorrow where He shapes and molds our faith, chisles our personality, and burns away the chaff of character flaws.

He loves us just the way we are because He created us. But because His love is so deep and His purposes so great, He chooses to grow, shape and move us. As we navigate our way through the sorrows of disappointment and the fires of failure, we begin to receive ourselves - that which He created and designed us to be and become. When you find yourself there - in the heat of the flames, in the pit of despair - that's also where you find Him; using the fires and sorrows, troubles and trials to make you into that which He intended when he first created you.

If you're in the fires of sorrow, take courage! The hot coals may in fact bring cleansing; they may also brand this lesson on the interior of your heart. This is the place you will find yourself, that which he created you to be!

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